Poltho (3.5e Race)

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Author: Ghostwheel (talk)
Date Created: March 28, 2011
Status: Completed
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Pariahs who fight a hidden war, the Poltho will know no rest until their ancient enemies are defeated.

Listen, my son; the War has gone on longer than any of us can remember. Bits and pieces are scattered throughout our dreams at night. It's hard to live on, to fight, to survive against the monstrosities we face. But as the only hope the world has, we have to continue trying. And it's not like we can stop, what with those... things that invade our dreams and force us to fight nightly for survival.

No one remembers who our ancestors were that decided that these things must be faced, but the War of Nightmares is one that we must fight. I know from the circles beneath your eyes and the tattoos you've started that you've already understood what it means to face these things in your dreams, just as your mother and I have. Every night is a different scenario, every night we fight new enemies, each more grotesque than the last. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we die, and wake shaking in the night. But the battle continues.

The thing you must--must remember is that we can never tell others about the war. Every Poltho you meet will know instinctively about the war. But remember that those... creatures that live outside of the walls of reality and scratch against their bindings and against the fabric that holds the world together feed on the knowledge that people have of them. The more people know of them, the stronger they'll become. And this is why we can never--ever tell others. I can see you know this too.

Their minions are countless, and each time one is birthed into this world or converted from the masses we must rise up and fight--not only in the dreamscape, but here as well. We must not let the knowledge of their existence be disseminated to the world or it will all be lost. It's a great responsibility to be a Poltho, but I know you'll do us proud.

When they are born, Poltho are much like humans--they develop in the same manner, live in the same manner, and so on. But with puberty come countless nightmares and the instinctive knowledge of a terrible truth. There's a war going on, they're on the front line, and... they can't tell another living soul. Fragments and bits come with the knowledge, of other Poltho standing in a circle, casting a ritual that would bind their blood to the Nightmare Wars, and that they must defeat these creatures and their minions if the world is to survive.

At the onset of their nightmares, Poltho may be diagnosed with some ailment of the mind, but they learn quickly to hide their new knowledge and the dreams that bring it, and hide the scars and scratches that line their bodies with tattoos and at seldom with heavy clothes.


Often dour or aloof, Poltho often try to distance themselves from those of other races, a tendency that arises not only from the constant flashes of pain from their dreams and their distance from reality, but also from the fact that they have a terrible secret to hide, and altruistic reasons not to reveal it to their travelling companions.

Physical Description[edit]

Slightly taller and thinner than most humans with a wiry build and a haunted look, many Poltho cover their bodies with tattoos to help hide the scars and scabs that cover their bodies from the scratches and nicks they sometimes incur during their dreams and while awake as coping mechanisms.


Poltho may often strike out on their own to try to combat the forces of the Nightmare Wars but often find themselves overmatched. In these times of need, they may recruit or join a party of adventurers and attempt to subtly guide others to combat agents of the Nightmare Wars.


Any. The only defining trait amongst the Poltho is their determination to combat their enemies in the War of Nightmares, and each one is willing to go to different extents in their pursuit of their destruction.


Poltho either live amongst humans or wander between towns as they hear of agents of the War of Nightmares, and while they are thought of as eccentric for their tattoos and a little unusual for their demeanors, they can pass as humans in larger towns or cities.


While many Poltho ascribe to no religion, a number have begun worshipping Maered, feeling a relationship to the shackled god in their own struggles as they are chained down to their own war as surely as the chained god is to his throne.


Poltho speak whatever language those of the region in which they grew up speak.


Many Poltho have a given name, a family name, and a secret name by which other Poltho refer to them. This secret name can often be shrouded in a riddle that another Poltho would understand, and usually contains syllables and phrases not found in a common tongue but rather originating from Quor. Some examples of these include Ulqath'wa, Dentish'qua, Neg'yaql, and Evdek'dal.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • -2 Charisma: Their nightmares and the constant war has taken a terrible toll on the Poltho. Each one is scarred, unable to relate easily to others and always slightly out of touch with reality.
  • Aberration (Augmented Humanoid, Psionic): The Poltho are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or dominate person.
  • Medium: As a Medium creature, a Poltho has no special bonuses or penalties due to its size.
  • Poltho base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Poltho (unlike most aberrations) do not have darkvision.
  • Agonized Scream (Su): Once per encounter upon taking damage a Poltho may let out a scream of pain that jars the minds of nearby enemies as he shares some of the internal pain he feels with them. Once per encounter as an immediate action upon taking damage, the Poltho may let out a psychic scream forcing all enemies within 30' to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + Charisma modifier) or become shaken for up to five minutes. An affected creature may make another save to negate the effect of this ability at the end of their turn each round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect that does not affect Poltho.
  • Bonus Feat: Their long battles have forced the Poltho to become as versatile as possible. Poltho gain a bonus feat at first level.
  • Out of Touch: Often unable to distinguish reality from their dreams at times, the senses of a Poltho can often be fooled. As such, Poltho take a -2 penalty vs. spells of the Illusion school, and take a -2 penalty to Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot checks.
  • Psychic Conduit: All Poltho are connected to each other on a certain level, sharing a psychic reservoir of energy. Poltho gain 1 bonus power point at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class. Furthermore, Knowledge (Psionics) is always considered a class skill for the Poltho.
  • Touch of Pain (Su): Once per encounter a Poltho may touch another creature as a swift action, forcing the creature to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + Charisma modifier) or become dazed for one round. Creatures who fail the save may make an additional save against any mind-affecting effects that affect them. At 10 HD the Poltho may instead choose to remove all mind-affecting effects on a creature rather than allowing them to attempt a saving throw.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Quor
  • Bonus Languages: Any
  • Favored Class: Ardent
  • Level Adjustment: +0
  • Effective Character Level: 1

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Poltho Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
16 years +1d6 +1d8 +2d8
Table: Poltho Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
80 years 120 years 200 years +2d100 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Poltho Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 5' 3" +2d10 130 lb. lb. × (2d4 lb.) lb.
Female 4' 10" +2d10 95 lb. × ((2d4) lb.) lb.

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Ghostwheel's Homebrew (373 Articles)
Facts about "Poltho (3.5e Race)"
AuthorGhostwheel +
Effective Character Level1 +
Favored ClassArdent +
Identifier3.5e Race +
Level Adjustment0 +
Racial Ability Adjustments-2 Charisma +
Rated ByAarnott +
RatingRating Pending +
SizeMedium +
SubtypeAugmented Humanoid + and Psionic +
SummaryPariahs who fight a hidden war, the Poltho will know no rest until their ancient enemies are defeated. +
TitlePoltho +
TypeAberration +